Celebrate the City of Lakes with the Minneapolis Aquatennial July 19-22

Image by Dusty Hoskovec. Courtesy of Minneapolis Downtown Council

By Kyle Smelter

It’s that time of year again to roll out the red carpet for the city of Minneapolis and celebrate all that the wonderful the city as to offer with the Minneapolis Aquatennial. From July 19 to 22, the city will be brimming with activities for all ages to enjoy. Here’s what’s happening:

Blood Drive

Get in the spirit of giving and help donate blood to those in need. The American Red Cross will team up with WCCO-TV and CBS Radio July 19 through 21 to take your donations and help save lives this summer. Donators can stop by the day of or choose a time that’s convenient for them by registering ahead of time online. The locations for the blood drive are as follows:

Wed. July 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WCCO, 90 S. 11th St., Minneapolis

Thurs. July 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wells Fargo, 600 S. Fourth St., Minneapolis

Fri. July 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CBS Radio, 625 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis

Tennis Classic | Thurs. July 20 & Fri. July 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A collection of some of the best adult and junior players will bring their skills to Canadian Pacific Plaza for a shot at Aquatennial glory and prize money during the Aquatennial Tennis Classic. Championship rounds will be played on Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21. Grab some friends and visit one of the premier urban tennis events in the area. | The corner of Second Avenue S. & S. Fifth Street, Minneapolis

Food Trucks and Lawn Games | Wed. July 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Outdoor fun while soaking up the sun, and satisfying food truck cravings, these are a few of Twin Citians’ favorite things. And when you combine all three, it’s pure Minnesota summer bliss. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Go Outside with Hennepin County converts Hennepin County Government Center’s South Plaza into a summer play land, complete with beanbags, yoga mats, food trucks and more. | Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S Sixth St., Minneapolis

Players in the outfield and people in the stands at a Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field.

Photo by Erica Loeks

Minnesota Twins Baseball

America’s greatest pastime is also one of Twin Citians’ greatest summer pilgrimages—Twins baseball at Target Field. Grab your glove, a brew and a “dog,” and cheer for the home team while the friendly staff, exciting atmosphere and the beautiful surrounding Minneapolis skyline knock your expectations out of the park. | Target Field, 1 Twins Way, Minneapolis

Wed. July 19, 12:10 p.m.

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees

Fri. July 21, 7:10 p.m.

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers

Sat. July 22, 6:10 p.m.

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers

Loring Park Pre-Parade Family Fun Night | Wed. July 19, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A green haven in the heart of the city, Loring Park helps kick off the four-day celebration with a night of enjoyment for the entire family. Highlights include free tennis lessons by USTA, free canoe rides and paddling instructions by Wilderness Inquiry, booths by the Minnesota Zoo, Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Environmental Team, food trucks and more. | Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Aquatennial Torchlight 5k.

Photo by Dusty Hoskovec. Courtesy of Minneapolis Downtown Council

Twin Cities Orthopedics Torchlight 5k | Wed. July 19, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Lace up those shoes and get out and enjoy a Minnesota summer evening with runners, joggers and walkers of all levels for a race through the city. Starting at the Basilica of Saint Mary and ending at the Mississippi riverfront, the course features downtown Minneapolis landmarks such as the Stone Arch Bridge and a post-race party that pulls out all the stops, featuring musical entertainment and complimentary refreshments. | Basilica of Saint Mary (race start), 88 17th St. N., Minneapolis

Kids enjoying the CenterPoint Energy Parade at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.

Photo by Dusty Hoskovec. Courtesy of Minneapolis Downtown Council

CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade | Wed. July 19, 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

A celebration just isn’t a celebration without a parade. Here to provide that all-important piece is the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade. Bring your friends and family for a night of celebrating complete with floats, marching bands and other displays as they make their way along Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica of Saint Mary to Fifth Street. | Basilica of Saint Mart (parade start), 88 17th St. N., Minneapolis

Downtown Farmers Market | Thurs. July 20, 6:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Who doesn’t love fresh produce and flowers? Fortunately for Twin Citians, those are two elements right in Minnesota’s wheelhouse. Stop by the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza every Thursday through October to snag the freshest of ingredients for your culinary creations, or colorful flowers to spruce up your space at home. | Hennepin County Government Center: 300 S Sixth St., Minneapolis

MN Made Market | Thurs. July 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Minneapolis has become a mecca for artisan food and goods. So it only feels appropriate that we showcase all the hardworking talent and unique ideas that fuel the city’s creativity while we celebrate all the qualities that make Minneapolis great. Hosted by JB Hudson Jewelers, visitors to the marketplace will find hand-crafted goods, eats and brew from Minny & Paul, Kerry’s Donut Bites, Modist Brewing Company, Bench Pressed and more. Admission to the 21+ event is free, but you will need a ticket to get in the doors. | JB Hudson Jewelers, 901 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Candid Canines Film Fest | Thurs. July 20, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Think your furry friend is funny and cute? So do a lot of other people; and now you can see just how funny and cute they are on Target Field Station’s big screen. The 40 minute film is a culmination of user-submitted videos as well as videos of dogs of online fame. Bring your friends and family (and, yes, that includes your canine companions) to any of the showings at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. | Target Field Station, 335 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show.

Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Downtown Council

Twin Cities River Rats Aquatennial Water Ski Show | Thurs. July 20, 7 p.m.

Post up on the banks of the Mississippi River between Broadway and Plymouth Avenues for a high-flying water show by the Twin Cities River Rats. The family-friendly event will feature stunts, barefoot skiing, human pyramids and more as the award-winning performers provide an entertaining and skilled show for all ages to enjoy.

Aquatennial Yoga Presented by CorePower Yoga | Fri. July 21, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Yoga and the great outdoors, it doesn’t get any more relaxing—unless you’re sipping pina coladas on the beach. Whether you’re a first-time yogi or a nimble veteran, people of all skill levels and sizes are welcome to join this free—although you do have to provide your own mat—class taught by CorePower Yoga at Downtown East Commons adjacent to U.S. Bank Stadium. | The Commons, 400 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis

Twin Cities Carifest | Sat. July 22, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Get a taste—literally—of Caribbean life at Twin Cities Carifest. Filled with authentic cuisine, music, arts, crafts and a carnival parade, this celebration located on West River Road between Plymouth and Broadway Avenues brings the tropical paradise to you—no cruise or plant ticket required.

AquaJam | Sat. July 22, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If X Games Minneapolis doesn’t quite satisfy your action sports craving, then this Boom Island event is sure to be the cherry on top. Grab your skateboard for a chance to hone your skills on a skate course open to the public, and watch as professionals go head-to-head in a competition. Food and craft brew will also be served, so you can refuel and relax when you’re all tricked out. | Boom Island, 724 Sibley St. N.E., Minneapolis

A crowd of people enjoying the Minneapolis Aquatennial Target Fireworks show.

Photo by Dusty Hoskovec. Courtesy of Minneapolis Downtown Council

Target Fireworks | Sat. Jul 22, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Capping off the celebration is a fireworks celebration regarded as one of the top five annual fireworks displays in the country. Show up early to stake your claim on some prime fireworks watching real estate (Gold Medal Park and the Third Avenue Bridge on West River Parkway are two of the best), and to partake in a range of activities—6 p.m. to 10 p.m.—including live music, food trucks and more before the show begins. | Gold Medal Park, Second St. and Eleventh Ave. S., Minneapolis


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